Dissected Portraits Inspired by 17th Century Dutch Masters


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New York-based artist Michael Mapes, known for his unusual dissected portraits made from glass vials, plastic bags, and gelatin capsules has recently released a new series that was inspired by the 17th century Dutch Masters, like Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy. To create these works, Mapes obtained a copyright free, high-res scan from Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and then learned as much as he could about each painting’s aristocratic subject. He then collected fragments from that person’s life including dissected photographs, locks of hair, handwriting samples, and jewelry. Finally, he arranged these objects in a specimen box until they resembled an eerie portrait of that person.

These new works will be shown at two upcoming exhibitions. From August 1 to September 27, visit Beers Contemporary in London to see the exhibition Cut-Copy-Paste. Mapes joins fellow artists Frank Hallam Day and Brian Porray to define what contemporary collage means today.

As Beers Contemporary states, “While each of the artists are acutely aware of their artistic predecessors, they exhibit a technical mastery in their practice that gives a fascinating new scope to the age-old artistic process of the deconstruction and reconstruction of the image.”


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